Small business owners might not be able to afford hiring a full-time web designer, developer and content manager to build a personalized website. Quite often they simply reject the very idea of establishing a web presence because they think it will cost them an arm and a leg. Fortunately, setting up a website isn’t as daunting as it might seem – the Internet offers a variety of WYSIWYG sitebuilders that are easy-to-use, but include functions vital to most businesses.
I have reviewed over twenty different website builders, and in this post I’m going to spotlight those platforms that bought my heart and trust almost immediately. Hope you’ll find them effective, too. Feel free to extend this list by adding your favorite site builders in comments – I’d be glad to enrich my collection :).
MotoCMS is a godsend to those of you who don’t have any programming experience at all, but want to build and maintain a professional-looking website independently. The website builder has a huge library of beautiful templates (HTML and Flash-based) that are the core of the entire system. Each template is in fact an almost ready website – you can even check it in demonstration mode to see how your future website can look and behave when published.
Once you’ve purchased a template, there will be no need to shop around for a CMS and plugins, since the template already contains a baked-in admin panel and range of widgets (Galleries, Menus, Contact Form, Google Maps etc.). All you need is to upload it to the server (use your existing hosting plan or get a new one). The admin panel is completely WYSIWYG – no need to write codes and jump between the preview and editor – each change you make is seen immediately.
#2 IM Creator
IM Creator is an ‘all-in-one’ HTML5-based site maker for those who have no interest or need to learn HTML. The founders of the platform initially developed it for their families and friends who wanted to get full control over their personal sites. Because the project has proven successful and gained extreme popularity pretty quickly, the founders decided to take it to the next level. Today, it’s one of the most popular web publishing solutions for newbies.
IM Creator has a very user-friendly editor: just drag any object (image, video, widget etc.), drop it anywhere on the canvas and edit it ad lib. Just recently IM Creator released IM Free, a curated collection of free images for commercial use – both IM Creator users and ordinary visitors can take advantage of this web resource.
If you find default templates boring and have a knack for design, check out Webydo. This professional website builder will debunk all the myths. Webydo was developed by designers, for designers, so if you have no experience of working with InDesign or Photoshop, you may find it a bit complicated – its DMS (Design Management System) is literally packed with advanced tools that are not familiar to the average PC user.
Though Webydo is mainly focused on design, it offers equally good project management solutions: designers can add multiple contributors, re-brand the entire platform and even send invoices via the Dashboard.